|Director-General of the World Trade Organization|
|World Trade Organization|
|Status||Chief Administrative Officer|
|Reports to||General Council|
|Seat||Centre William Rappard, Geneva, Switzerland|
|Term length||Four years, renewable|
|Constituting instrument||WTO Organization Chart|
|Formation||1 January 1995|
|First holder||Peter Sutherland|
The director-general of the World Trade Organization is the officer of the World Trade Organization (WTO) responsible for supervising and directing the organization's administrative operations. Since the World Trade Organization's decisions are made by member states, through either a Ministerial Conference or through the General Council, the director-general has little power over matters of policy – the role is primarily advisory and managerial in nature. The director-general supervises the WTO secretariat of about 700 staff and is appointed by WTO members for a term of four years.
The post of Director-General has been vacant since 31 August 2020,after the resignation of Roberto Azevêdo of Brazil who had held the post since 1 September 2013. On February 5, 2021, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria secured the support of the United States for Director-General of the WTO. Okonjo-Iweala will become the first woman and first African to hold this position.
Before the formation of the WTO, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) had a series of directors-general. Peter Sutherland was the last director-general of GATT and the first of the WTO.
This is a list of former holders of the office of Director-General. The post was created in 1995, although the earlier office of Executive Secretary is often seen as a direct equivalent.
|1|| Peter Sutherland |
|1 July 1993||30 April 1995||Ireland|
|2|| Renato Ruggiero |
|1 May 1995||31 August 1999||Italy|
|3|| Mike Moore |
|1 September 1999||31 August 2002||New Zealand|
|4|| Supachai Panitchpakdi |
|1 September 2002||31 August 2005||Thailand|
|5|| Pascal Lamy |
|1 September 2005||31 August 2009||France|
|1 September 2009||31 August 2013|
|6|| Roberto Azevêdo |
|1 September 2013||31 August 2017||Brazil|
|1 September 2017||31 August 2020|
|7|| Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala |
|1 March 2021|
This section needs to be updated.February 2021)(
In May 2020, Director-General Azevedo announced that he would step down on 31 August 2020, a year before his mandate was due to expire.On 17 August 2020, human rights organizations urged the member nations to reject the nomination of Saudi Arabia's Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, citing the country's poor human rights records.
General Council Chair David Walker initiated a process of consultation with members from 7 September 2020 onwards, through which the field of candidates was gradually reduced until an appointment was to be made.Eight candidates were put forward by WTO member governments to succeed Azevedo.
The final selection required a consensus of the 164 member countries and was expected to take place in November, 2020.However, due to "the health situation and current events" the meeting was postponed.
|Nigeria||Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala||Former Managing Director of the World Bank, Finance Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Withdrawn on 5 February 2021 after consultation with major countries such as the United States|
|South Korea||Yoo Myung-hee||Minister for Trade of South Korea|
|Withdrawn on 6 October 2020 after the second round of consultations|
|Kenya||Amina C. Mohamed||Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture in Kenya|
|Saudi Arabia||Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri||Minister ranked advisor at the Royal Court, ex-minister of Economy and Planning|
|United Kingdom||Liam Fox||Former Secretary of State for International Trade and Secretary of State for Defence in the UK|
|Withdrawn on 18 September 2020 after the first round of consultations|
|Mexico||Jesús Seade Kuri||Undersecretary for North America for the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
|Egypt||Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh||Negotiator for Egypt and senior WTO official|
|Moldova||Tudor Ulianovschi||Former Foreign Minister of Moldova|
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